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B.C. announces support plan for struggling mining companies

Help is on the way in British Columbia. The government has announced a relief plan that will allow mining companies to defer their electricity bills in ...

Admin
|Jan 26|magazine6 min read

Help is on the way in British Columbia. The government has announced a relief plan that will allow mining companies to defer their electricity bills in order to endure the current downturn in commodity prices.  

“We’ve got your back,” Premier Christy Clark told a crowd at the opening of the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia’s Roundup Conference in Vancouver.

While details are yet to be finalized, Clark said the plan will give mining companies the option as a means to help them “at least keep their doors open,” while they wait for commodity markets recovery.

"It has been a rough year for mining in Canada," said Clark. "We know when a mine goes to waste all those mines and all those communities that have been founded on a mine disappear overnight.

"[We] are working on a plan so that mines can defer some of their very considerable power costs until commodity prices bounce back.”

• Related: [INFOGRAPHIC] The 2016 Mineral Exploration Roundup

According to Karina Brino, CEO of the Mining Association of B.C., such a measure would offer meaningful support for companies facing escalating power costs during the economic slump.

“Depending on the operation, electricity costs sometimes come right after labor (in terms of a mine’s operating costs),” Brino said.

“What we heard is encouraging news in terms of figuring out if there is anything the provincial government can do to provide some immediate relief.”

During the Roundup Conference, Clark also revealed another extension of the provincial government’s refundable 20 percent mining exploration tax credit on qualified exploration expenses, and up to 30 percent in regions affected by the mountain pine beetle infestation, as well as a 20 percent nonrefundable flow-through tax credit on investment in exploration by shareholders.

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